Vegan Variations Part 3: Eliminating substitutes.
Vegan Variations is a series of posts addressing a few of the most popular versions of eating vegan.
Most vegans are successful at giving up animal products, but many are more successful these days because the food industry has provided them with non-animal substitutes like vegan cheese, vegan sour cream, and vegan meats. Of course there are vegan cakes, muffins, cookies, non-dairy ice cream, chips, etc. We aren't talking about these in this post. We got rid of them in the previous post.
So, what are we to do about these vegan cheeses, vegan burgers, vegan sausages, vegan sauces, etc.; and the rest of the vegan processed foods that we haven't eliminated. The answer is: It's up to you.
Why? Because how much farther you go in eliminating things depends on your goals. If you have specific health goals, such as losing weight, reversing heart disease, preventing diabetes, or working on whatever other chronic health problems you may have, then you may want to take things a step further and eliminate these vegan substitutes.
When trying to decide which ones to eliminate, read the food labels carefully. When possible, compare the food labels of the meat/animal version of an item with the vegan version. Often there is not an appreciable difference. I was surprised by that when I compared the real hamburgers with the new taste-like-meat burgers. And, I was a bit concerned when I tried to read the labels of some of the vegan cheeses. In particular, take a look at the ingredient lists. Tens of ingredients in the vegan cheeses and most of them I can't identify as food.
So, this post is just to make you aware that eating vegan faux foods may and may not be as healthy as you think and to encourage you to do your homework and make decisions that are just right for you.